Delta Bound

After leaving the marina we headed straight to warmer climes; in the SF bay that means the Delta.  The first day we motor-sailed from Redwood City to Middle Slough near Pittsburg covering approximately 50nm.  We spend the night at anchor and in the morning we had a delicious breakfast and left Middle Slough bound for Potato Slough, a trip of approximately 25nm up the San Joaquin river.


Once we were under way I decided it would be a waste if we didn’t trail at least one fishing line.  The Salmon are starting to run up the river and any free protein we can snag means more money left over for beer!  So out went the line on our largest ocean rod.  We put the rod in the port rod holder – a mistake that will become clear in a few sentences…

About 15 minutes later Alyssa said she smelled something and asked if I could smell it. I said it was probably outside but asked if she could check the engine compartment to see if she could smell it down below.  She came back up and said it was very strong near the engine bay and smelled like something burning.  I immediately started searching for a place to drop the hook so we could shut the engine down and assess the situation.  We dropped the hook behind an island and shut down the engine.

In the process of turning the boat around, the damn ocean rod we were trailing on the PORT side was high enough to get its line completely tangled in the wind generator!  So we have something burning in the engine bay and a fouled wind generator…great.

I decided to focus on the burning smell first.  It seemed to be coming from the aft starboard lazarette.  We emptied out the lazarette and were trying to identify the culprit.  I noticed the low pressure pump on the watermaker was piping hot – oh fk.  One look at the watermaker control panel verified it – we accidentally hit the switch and the pump was running dry and generating a ton of heat.  I opened the fuse box and the fuse was melted in two pieces!  Well at least it was just a fuse and possibly an impeller but nothing catastrophic.  Once we put everything back in the lazarette it was wind generator time.

I climbed on top of the monitor windvane and stern rail and cut the monofilament out of the wind generator and it appeared that I got it all out.  Turns out a few days later the blades stopped spinning and I had to repeat the process but eventually got it all out.

So with control restored we pushed on the rest of the day and had a gorgeous sail – or rather drift – to Potato Slough.  We flew a full jib and averaged 3.5 knots.  By the late afternoon we were anchored in the lee of a peaceful little island with very good protection from the howling afternoon “delta breeze.”

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